Chrysler announced a week ago that its finance arm, Chrysler Financial, would get out of the leasing business as of Friday, August 1. In one week, Chrysler has seen a flood of buyers trying to lease a vehicle before the company stops offering the option, reports the Wall Street Journal.
"It has been a frenzy," said Paul Steel, who runs three dealerships in Michigan, including Southfield Chrysler Jeep outside Detroit. "Everyone is trying to get in now on a three-year lease hoping that Chrysler Financial will get back in the game by the time their lease is done."
Steel kept his dealerships open until midnight every night since Monday.
Golling Chrysler Jeep Dodge Inc., in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., more than tripled its business, selling 112 vehicles Monday and 96 Tuesday, said owner Bill Golling. The majority of sales were through leasing.
Chrysler LLC decided to stop leasing due to the huge losses Chrysler Financial was taking on SUVs and trucks coming off lease. The vehicles are now worth considerably less than what was predicted a few years ago.
Although Chrysler Financial is no longer leasing vehicles, customers can still lease a Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep vehicle through a private company, bank or credit union.